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November 17, 2022

Inviting key stakeholders to your 21st CCLC program team helps you include diverse people and perspectives as you make important decisions about how to serve children and families. There’s another benefit as well: Having a strong team of advisors reduces stress at work by providing access to fresh ideas, expertise, and resources so you can reach your goals. Not sure how to build a strong team? Y4Y’s new Quality Program Quickstarter (QPQ) module, Building a Program Team, covers the basics, like identifying and recruiting the right team members, managing communications, and working together effectively. When people with a purpose unite to make a difference, energy goes up, stress levels go down, and the future looks brighter than ever!

Superheroes, Assemble!

This brand-new QPQ explains that having the right program team can help ensure that your program’s values are realized. It’s important to decide what focus or initiatives will be at the forefront of your program and what school-day staff (and other partners) can help. For example, if your program wants to improve family engagement, it makes sense to include one or two family members as well as community members who understand families’ needs and interests. The best way to master something is to practice it, so this QPQ has plenty of opportunities to practice various scenarios, double-check your knowledge, and test your understanding. There are ideas in this QPQ for various initiatives and stakeholders who can support each one, so take your pick!

The Perfect Match

Once you identify your program team, the next step is to assign roles to make your team as effective as possible. Think about it: You carefully selected a team of experts and advisors to make your program plans happen. The last thing you want to do is leave ’em hanging. They know their stuff, so take advantage of this by assigning roles that honor their experience and expertise and engage them in the decision-making process. (By the way, this is a good approach to use with your program staff as well!)

The Buy-In

It can be difficult to attract stakeholders, especially school-day leaders, who already have multiple commitments. However, there are ways to communicate to school-day leaders that you value their time and expertise, and that you believe their participation is integral to the success of your program — and students. The Building a Program Team QPQ will give you the skills to efficiently communicate your needs to your potential partners.

Once you have your team, keeping them effectively engaged will require some planning. You’ll get an in-depth look at how to prepare and host meetings, maintain ongoing interaction, and develop task timelines to minimize chaos and maximize productivity. Additionally, there are a variety of ways to communicate with your team, such as one-on-one meetings, emails, phone calls, and group meetings. The best communications plan is the one that fits your team.

Reaping the Rewards

With the right team, you can take your program to new heights. If you assemble a team of superheroes and tap into their specialized powers, you and your students will reap the rewards: more energy and ideas, culturally sensitive practices, an enriched learning environment, and less stress. Bonus: Your students will surely take notice, too!